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Mr. Hunter and Mrs. Gatherer go shopping, and hilarity ensues

Friday, September 06, 2013

Greetings, Sparkpeeps!

It seems that since I've been on "staycation" this week, I've discovered I have about 57 blogs waiting to be written. Rather than pile them on you all at once, I think I'll just hit the highlights. This particular blog is inspired in part by Spark user SPEEDYDOG, due to his helpful insights into the differences between men and women.

I haven't mentioned this to anyone anywhere yet, but since it is now official, I can say it: my husband is finally leaving his old job for a new, better paying one. I am so relieved, and so proud that he found the courage to leave a place he has been overworked and underpaid at for ten years. However, the new place has a slightly stricter dress code (business casual as opposed to jeans, t-shirt, and no shoes). This meant that *gasp* he would have to go shopping for some work clothes, and *gasp* I would have to go with him.

Shopping with my husband is an ordeal for many reasons. One reason is that he is quite tall and it is next to impossible to find pants that fit. Another reason is that his tastes are very conservative and he constantly complains about things being "itchy". I'm with him on that one. I don't like "itchy" either. However, "non-itchy" means "not cheap", and Mr. Karlsson does NOT like to spend money on clothes. That's where I come in. I am the bargain shopper of the house and have a pretty good idea of the market value on most things we shop for.

In the past, I have dreaded going shopping with this man because he becomes so single minded and he gets crabby if you talk too much about what else is going on. He also does not like fighting crowds or dodging small children or even dodging large children. Since SPEEDYDOG's notes on the differences between men and women, I have gained new insight, and that insight is hilarious.

Here's how it works: men are hardwired to be hunters. Hunting takes focus. You can't be all distracted by shiny things when you're trying to take down a woolly mammoth or you are toast. Focus is key to survival, and this vestige of humankind's ancient past is still with us. Women, on the other hand, are hardwired to be gatherers. That means observing and being constantly on the lookout for new opportunities that may or may not have anything to do with your main objective. That's why women can multitask like fiends. So we can find nuts and berries and ooh look that tree bark makes great headache medicine let's get some so we can dry it and stockpile it.

With those facts in mind, here is how our thoughts and words did not mesh at all, at all.

ME (thinking): Good lord. Did they let the monkey house from the zoo here for a field trip? Ooh, look! Bath & Bodyworks is having a sale! Christmas presents!

MR. K (thinking): must find pants

ME (still thinking): I wonder why it is so hot in here. Oh, there's Van Heusen outlet. Seventy percent off! But wait, he doesn't like that brand, so never mind.

MR. K (still thinking): must find pants

ME: "Oh, look, honey! There's Books-A-Million! We haven't been in there in ages! Do you remember the last time we were in there?"

MR. K: [blinks in confusion] "What? Where? Huh? What does that have to do with anything? Where is it?"

ME: [rolls eyes] "We're standing next to it. Never mind, dear."

[Mr. and Mrs. Karlsson continue their shopping trip. They end up in Old Navy for some strange reason, probably because shirts were up to 60% off.]

ME: "Dude... do you see that?"

MR. K (thinking): must find pants

ME: "I mean, seriously. How can you not see that? Look at her!"

MR. K (thinking): must find pants

ME: "What on earth is that sales girl doing wearing a neon tutu and a Wonder Woman costume?"

MR. K: "What? I don't see anything."

ME (ready to pinch Mr. Karlsson): "How can you NOT see her? She's right THERE! IN FRONT OF YOU!"

MR. K: "What? Where?" (thinking) must find pants)

ME: "Never mind."

The rest of the shopping trip was pretty much the same. His single-minded quest for pants also caused him to miss several waitresses outside the new sushi restaurant dressed as geishas with miniskirts and too much cleavage, a man in a duck costume, a TRAIN, a mom with three kids getting after her husband for tossing the fourth one up in the air, a gorgeous blouse on sale at Dress Barn (alas there was only one and it was not my size), and the fact that one of the male sales clerks at J. Crew was flirting with him (which did not offend me in the slightest: it is obvious the young man has good taste). By the time we got to the parking lot, I was laughing and he could not for the life of him figure out why. All I would say was "honey, if it was a snake, it would've bit you."

We stopped to take a break in the second mall we went in, having had absolutely no success at the outlet mall. We were both hot and tired (the outlet mall's air conditioning was not working, it was crowded with Labor Day shoppers, and it was 107 degrees outside in the shade), and my husband was despairing. He looked on a few websites and saw pants, but was stumped that there were no sizes posted. So I made a few phone calls (cell phones can be useful sometimes) and located some pants. My husband reflected that perhaps it would have been easier to stay home and look everything up online and then just call places. "Yes, honey," I said (only somewhat sarcastically), "but think of the adventure we would have missed!"

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between men and women!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    As usual, you have NAILED the crux of the problem!
    1748 days ago
    Hunters and Gatherers is certainly true. Women go shopping with fun in mind. With men, it's just get it done!! Enjoyed your blog!!!! emoticon
    1748 days ago
    1748 days ago
  • ALICIA214

    Thank you for clearing that up for me, I remember years ago taking my teen age son downtown to buy jeans I lost count of the stores we went into he is very long in the leg and slim in the waist sooooo to cut a long story short he wore me out so I ended up giving him money and leaving him to shop on his own...
    I knit sweaters and socks for him and buy the occasional shirt but for the rest he is on his own that way we are both happy. Love him to bits.

    1748 days ago
    HEE! HEE! HEE! Hunter and gatherer is exactly right!

    I once called my husband and asked him to pick up something for dinner. He went to the supermarket and got two steaks and a 6-pack. Period!

    I, on the other hand would have gone to the butcher's for steak, the farmers' market for greens, mushrooms and cherries, the wine shop for wine, and the grocer for good baking potatoes and ice cream.

    And yet, ya gotta love 'em!

    1748 days ago
  • GK1963
    Love this - I now have an explanation for my guy as to why all the shiny things catch my eye when we are shopping.
    1748 days ago
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